Concealed Carry

Showdown: Springfield Armory Hellcat vs. SIG Sauer P365

Springfield Hellcat vs SIG P365

Some contests are clearly not much of a fight — like a Hi-Point versus a Springfield 1911. But then, some are six of one and a half-dozen of the other.

The SIG Sauer P365 came first and the higher-capacity Springfield Armory Hellcat came along after Springfield had time to make improvements perhaps.

Would I trust or carry either? Of course I would. Sometimes things are unexpected.

As an example, the great song and dance man Jimmy Cagney once said to Bob Hope ‘I did that routine first!’ and Hope replied ‘I did it right!’ Hope could more than hold his own against the greatest Irish dancer.

The SIG and the Springfield certainly each hold their own. Brand loyalty is important and, in this case, performance is pretty close, but with some important differences.

SIG Sauer P365 and Spare Magazine
Despite its high capacity, the SIG P365 is a compact handgun.

Initial Differences

There is no handgun more popular for concealed carry than the slim-line 9mm. The smallest polymer-frame 9mm Luger double-column magazine pistols are becoming even more popular.

The Springfield Armory Hellcat and the SIG Sauer P365 each have good features. The 9mm Luger is everyone’s cartridge and these are some of the best 9mm handguns.

Readily available, affordable and, with highly-developed defense loads, the 9mm is a reasonable choice for personal defense and offers about all of the recoil anyone wants in a compact pistol.

Each pistol is light enough, thin enough and compact enough, and features good sights as well as a useful trigger. Neither is as easy to shoot well as a full-size pistol.

However, they are easier to use than the smallest 9mm pistols and the snub-nose .38, traditional concealed-carry guns. SIG Sauer enjoys a great reputation as a maker, but then, so does Springfield Armory.

Neither is likely to bring something into the market that isn’t thoroughly proofed. Let’s look at the two 9mm Luger pistols and see if one is the better choice for most shooters.

Springfield Hellcat Compared to S&W J-Frame
Compared to the traditional snub-nose .38, the Springfield Hellcat is downright svelte.

Spec and Feature Differences

I like a pistol with a good mix of adhesion and abrasion in the grip. The Hellcat has tackier grip. I like being able to keep hold of the grip despite wet, oily or sweaty hands.

The SIG Sauer P365 grip is more rounded and comfortable in firing. Most of us use computers not jackhammers these days, and the SIG isn’t as abrasive.

Just the same, the Hellcat is the more secure overall in all firing conditions. The SIG is more comfortable to fire.

As far as handfit, neither really fits my hand better than the other, it is the grip treatment that makes the Hellcat a little better. There are several magazines, including extended magazines, available for either pistol.

The Hellcat holds one more cartridge in the standard magazine. I like that, and the extended magazine, which isn’t really that large, holds even more.

It takes a lot of handling to prove it, but the Hellcat magazine is slightly faster during speed loads. If you practice with either, you will not be at a disadvantage.

The Hellcat’s slide serrations do not have quite the gripping area of the SIG. It is a little more difficult to rack the slide on the Hellcat. This stronger recoil spring may make it better suited to +P loads.

The SIG light rail takes only SIG lights. The Hellcat has a standard rail. Truth is, neither is really well suited to combat light use they are simply too small.

The Hellcat sights win hands down for combat use. The U-shaped white outline rear and fiber-optic front are very fast to pick up quickly.

The P365 sights are low-profile, but are not as fast to pick up during combat shooting. The trigger action of each is good to excellent for concealed carry.

The Hellcat is about six pounds and the SIG is about five pounds. The Hellcat trigger and sights are good, the SIG trigger is excellent and the sights are ok.

Springfield Armory Hellcat Sights
The author preferred the Springfield Hellcat’s sights.

Performance Differences

On the range, using Winchester ball ammunition, the SIG is slightly more accurate in slow fire.

In fast combat-style shooting, neither has a real advantage, although I think the Hellcat is the more controllable at ten yards or so. I cannot detect a real difference in recoil in either gun.

I moved to the formidable Winchester 124-grain PDX +P in testing. I think that for most shooters this load is too much in a compact pistol. Small-parts wear will be accelerated.

With the standard Winchester 115-grain Silvertip and 147-grain PDX, there isn’t much to choose from in recoil. I can hold the Hellcat better, however.

In firing from a solid benchrest, taking my time for each shot, the SIG demonstrated slightly better groups, with 15 yards groups of 2.0 to 2.7-inch groups, versus 2.2 to 2.0 inches for the Hellcat.

Not that great a difference, but more pronounced at greater range.

sig p365 vs hellcat
Combat groups with either pistol are good.

Conclusion: Springfield Armory Hellcat vs. SIG Sauer P365

In the end, choose the pistol that suits your hand and style best.

Either firearm will do the business. I like the Hellcat best, but among my circle of shooting friends, the SIG Sauer P365 is the more prevalent choice.

Have you tried the Springfield Armory Hellcat or the SIG Sauer P365? Tell us what you thought in the comments section below!

About the Author:

Wilburn Roberts

When Wilburn Roberts was a young peace officer, he adopted his present pen name at the suggestion of his chief, as some of the brass was leery of what he might write. This was also adopted out of respect for families of both victims and criminals. The pen name is the same and the man remains an outspoken proponent of using enough gun for the job.

He has been on the hit list of a well-known hate group, traveled in a dozen countries and written on many subjects, including investigating hate crimes and adopting the patrol carbine. He graduated second in his class with a degree in Police Science. It took him 20 years to work himself from Lieutenant to Sergeant and he calls it as he sees it.
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (36)

  1. He fails to mention that the Sig comes with night sights while the Hellcat does not so while debating which has the “better” sights, he might’ve mentioned that. I personally like the Sig substantially better. ddr

  2. Love the Hellcat. Easy to load and it the bullseye right out of the box. Well balanced and my wife loves it too. She wasn’t a fan of Springfield Armory until now.

  3. I own both pistols and prefer the the Sig P365 over the Hellcat. While both pistols are excellent firearms and conceal extremely well I feel that the trigger is better on the Sig. I actually prefer the feel of the curved trigger and the pull is smoother and breaks clean. The Hellcat action has a gritty feel. More importantly for me I like the Sig grips much better than the Hellcat. The Sig is a natural pointing pistol with a more slim contoured feel while the Hellcat grips feel blocky in my hand. The grip texture seems pretty much the same to me on both of my pistols. The one feature where I believe the Hellcat stands out are its sights. The Sig has three dot night sights which I like but the Hellcat sights are definitely easier to pick up with the white u shaped rear sight. My example has a night sight on the front. These are just my preferences and both pistols are excellent. You really can’t go wrong with either pistol if you want a quality pistol that conceals well.

  4. I have a standard P365 that has the flat XL trigger in it and love it. It is my primary carry gun. I always carry the 12 round mags. I have handled the Hellcat in gun shops, but have never shot one. I would like to shoot the Hellcat, but I would not trade my 365 for one because of the money I have tied up in it.

  5. I picked up the P365 SAS and next day wife got the Hellcat, they are very similar we haven’t fired only 2 or 3 mags each for both with ammo the way it is, but both are smooth, sights go to Hellcat , if I could put the trigger form Hellcat on the Sig to me that would be best. happy with both. they run very well and great for self defense, but I also picked up a Springfield 911 9mm and really like it, so it is nice too have choices.

  6. I have carried a SIG P365 for over a year now. Mine is loaded with a 12 round mag with the 15 round mag in a picket sleeve as a reload. I also use the SIG ammo formulated for the 3inch barrel. Normal carry is appendix in an Alien Gear holster. I have a laser sight and holster for carry, but the leather holster isn’t stiff enough to be safe in appendix mode. I am confident with this pistol, but may give the Hellcat a try. From the looks and report either do their job as intended.

  7. I own both, the P365 was first and since I’m more comfortable with it, I tend to carry it.
    The Hellcat sight to me are much better..recently I added a shield red dot sight to it. I think this will ultimately be my go to gun. Right now having a bit of trouble finding a good OWB holster that accommodates the sight.

  8. I carried a Ruger LC9s until the Hellcat was released. Immediately after doing some homework I decided to give the Hellcat a try just to have more capacity in my carry weapon. Now the Hellcat is my go to for concealed carry. I typically carry in my back pocket and the extended clip is a little long for my purpose. I like the way the grip feels and the control you get from the Hellcat.

  9. I prefer the Sig over the Springfield. I feel that the Sig is a better value over the Springfield as well. I’m the opposite of the author of this article. I think the sights on the Sig are much better because they come with tritium night-sights instead of the fiber sights on the Springfield. I’m sure that both firearms are of good quality. With that said, one of the biggest reasons why I purchased the Sig over the Springfield is because of what Springfield helped to do to the people of Illinois. I know some individuals forgive/forget, but the Springfield company is dead to me. They’re a firearms manufacturer that helped the Illinois government to add firearm restrictions to its people. I personally will never buy a Springfield product again (at least not a new one).

  10. I currently own the sig 365 xl whichhas the romeo red dot and it is very accurate once you are used to it,also it comes standard with two 12 round mags with the option to buy 15 round mags for this model i find the hellcat to be a little bit blockier like most of the springfield line up , but the quality has not been an issue at all.

  11. I purchased the 365 as a carry, I have also a hellcat and don’t find a great difference between then, I carry the sig for the following reasons, the lower profile sights make it easier to clear my holster, last thing you need when a critical situation arises is a gun hung up in a holster, I also found the sig trigger a bit smoother with shorter reset, but all in all both great weapons, practice, practice, practice is key to whatever weapon you choose.

  12. I have the P365 with the manual safety. It is now my EDC pistol. I carry it with the 12 round mag in it with 2 15 round mag for reloads. I have found it to be very concealable and even with the high cap mags a little lighter on the belt than my Kimber Ultra CDP with 2 reloads. The accuracy is great and it delivers a 3″ group at 7 yds during rapid fire. Slow fire will put them all in the eyebox at 7 yds. With the manual safety I can carry it in my shorts pocket without a pocket holster since I have the version with the manual safety. I seldom do that. I use an OWB and wear a loose shirt with the tail out. It doesn’t print at all under most circumstances. My brother has the Hellcat with the red dot and it is just as good with the exception of the pocket carry without a holster. It shoot just as accurately as the Sig. So it really comes down to which one feels better in your hand and which one you are lucky enough to find in the present circumstances.

  13. I was looking for a deep conceal and got all wrapped around the axle on getting the one with the greatest capacity. I tried several “micro” nines and I tell you both the Hellcat and the P365 shot well but each of them loaded to the hilt in an extended mag was like carrying a brick. I already have a carry XDM in 3.8 thats just a touch wider and carries more on board ammo but it’s not a deep conceal either. I “settled” on a G43 with extended mags. It carries light, out of sight and shoots better than I do. It’s all in what your looking for…

  14. I just bought a SIG SAUER P365 and so far I love it. It fits my hand perfectly and will be very nice to carry concealed. It is very accurate and I am very pleased with how well I shot compared to my Springfield. 45.

  15. I bought the hellcat about 2 months ago to be my winter off duty weapon. We are issued the Glock 43 for our back up and they are great shooting guns. They are accurate even out to 20 yards with the only draw back is the 6 round mag plus one in chamber. I wanted something that would carry a few more rounds but not be much bigger or even same size. I decided on the hellcat after searching and comparing everything on the net. I feel I made the best choice for me. The Hellcat with the extended mag fits good in my hand and I love the sights on it. Online I read were some liked the sights and some didn’t. I’m also a range instructor for our department so I put the Hellcat through the qualification course for our back ups. It did great as did the Glock 43 but I was able to carry all 25 rounds in 2 magazines verses having to top off the 43’s magazines in between targets. You can look up all the videos on comparing sizes on YouTube. Finally after the course was shot I played around at the 50 and 65 yard line and was impressed with it. No 2 inch groups but you can still hit the torso of the targets at that range. I let others shoot it to and they all loved it. For me I am totally satisfied with the Hellcat for myself but everyone is different and I trust it to save my life or someone’s else life.

  16. I own the P365 and love it’s durability and size. Comfortable to my hands. My favorite standout point about it is it’s simplicity and ease of concealment. My full size 9mm is definitely a more accurate and fun shoot however, for EDC I love my SIG. I shopped around and looked at the Hellcat but, the SIG felt better in my hand.

  17. I had the P365 and I loved it. No problems at all. When the P365XL came out, like a dummy i sold my P365 and purchased the P365 XL. From the first time out it failed. Several fail to battery so I brought it home cleaned the bageezus out of it and headed back out to the range. Used several different brands and types of ammo: 115, 124 and 147 grain from different companies plus ball and hollow point. Darn gun still had fail to battery issues. Can’t trust it. I still have it cuz my problem shouldn’t be someone else’s. Went out and bought a HK P30SK. It’s big and bulkly but it fires everytime I need it to fire.

  18. I have two P365s. I have held the Hellcat. I have smaller hands and the P365 fits my hands better. I have no problems shooting the P365 and I carry it all day. As you pointed out, just choose which pistol fits you best. Proper and comfortable fit is very important.

  19. My shooting buddy has a 365 and I have a Hellcat. I’ve shot both extensively and I found that I still prefer my Hellcat. I didn’t really see any effective difference in accuracy between the two, but the Hellcat’s sights are quite superior when it comes to rapid targeting. The only area that I prefer on the 365 is the trigger, which is marginally better. For what it’s worth, my buddy liked my Hellcat so much that he bought one too.

  20. I love my Sig I didn’t go with the P365 I got the P365xl it has been a very comfortable weapon to shoot I added the Romeo zero and after 5,000 plus rounds it has not failed once and the grouping is really tight.
    I was a GlocK person for many years till I tried this and now I am torn I have a tough time deciding which brand I will buy next.

  21. I purchased the 365 after many of my soldiers recommended the micro pistol. After several months of punishing use and thousands of rounds. I have to admit, for a micro gun the accuracy is outstanding. Reliable and just plain fun to shoot.

  22. I have been carrying the Glock 43X with 15 round Shield Arms mags (so 15+1) for about two years. I have done everything possible to test the feed on the Shield Arms mags and never a single failure. I carry front right pocket in a holster. This combo works great for me and seems to offer more than any other hi-cap. small 9mm out there. The mags are a little hard to find and can be pricy, but they are NOT extensions. They fill the stock mag well with 5 more rounds. Game changer for me.

  23. I chose the Sig P365XL with which I am very pleased. I’m surprised you didn’t add it to the comparison even though it is a little (emphasis on little) larger.

  24. Retired Former 30+ yr LE; “Hellcat” is now my “grab n go” choice on almost all ‘occasions‘;
    Although for quick trips to “milk & bread” store, my companion is still my ultra concealable,”single-stack Glock 43” (if you can’t protect your own self with ‘6 or less rounds’,.. you aren’t “properly prepared” and probably shouldn’t be “carrying”)…

  25. I personally own a P365 and love it. I’m sure the Hellcat is a great gun too, considering they took Sig’s idea and tweaked it. If you “improve” something that’s already great, how can it not turn out great also? Sig’s 365 was first, therefore, best. Be original. Don’t take something that someone else made, add a few features and call it your own creation.

  26. A retired lawman, 37 years, I carried numerous weapons. My current need is compact, conceal-ability, a man-stopper caliber, ergonomics which I find in the Sig 365. 9mm is my minimum standard for caliber and 10-12 + one in the chamber is a real plus for a sub compact. The ergonomics of this mini gun is unbelievable. At 6’4” and 260 it still fits my hand and is comfortable to shoot. I never hesitate to carry due to what I am wearing due it’s conceal ability. Thumbs up to Sig for a ground breaking micro compact pistol. I HIGHLY recommend this pistol.

  27. I purchased the 365 for “myself” but it was quickly adopted by my 25 year old daughter fir her EDC gun Still, I demanded ‘visitation rights’ and was able to put about 300 rounds through it myself last outing at the range.
    I have big hands, so the standard mag is just short enough that my pinkie kept flying off the edge of the grip. Still, it feels featherweight even with 10+1 rounds adding to the weight. For these size guns, I prefer to practice at a more typical likely firefight range- 3-4 yards. Just like my other SIG, it is a pleasure to shoot and groups reliably. My only issue with the gun is it took almost 300 rounds to be able to reload the magazines completely by thumb- a speed loader is highly recommended at first until the mags a broken in. Bottom line- an excellent, easily concealable gun for my daughter and peace of mind for this dad.

  28. Own the p365 love it. Only ever handled the hellcat. I agree both are great. I prefer the sites on the 365. Especially when shooting in low light or flashlight situations.

  29. I bought the Springfield Hellcat and found it to be a great concealed weapon especially with the extended magazine. After a few Months, and gentle persuasion from my son, I bought a Sig P365XL with a Romeo Red Dot added. I have been happy with both 9 mm pistols and rotate them with a Smith & Wesson M&P Crimson Trace 38 Special revolver as my concealed carry appendix holstered weapons of choice. I also added a Crimson Trace Green Dot laser to the lower rail of the Hellcat for quicker target sighting and better overall retention of the target 🎯. I have other great smaller framed pistols including the Walter PPK/S .380 and the Beretta 32 Tomcat that I have used for concealed carry weapons, but I like the other three better for fit and handling.

  30. Great article, always what’s best for the shooter. Guns firearms these days are marketed like idolized smart devices.

    I have the P365, works best for me, may not for everyone. Full disclaimer, I’m no pro. Hellcat felt clunky.

    The prices are high but thankfully I got mine in February when it was cheaper.

  31. I love my P365 xl. Has a little longer barrel for accuracy and recoil help but still very easy to conceal. It’s my everyday carry. My favorite feature is the trigger. Super smooth and easy action on the firearm which makes follow-up shots quicker and more accurate. I would definitely recommend this firearm. I also have Springfield firearms and enjoy them so I like to consider myself an unbiased reviewer.

  32. I own the Hellcat. Bought it when they first hit the market for $500. Can’t say I have owned a more reliable semi auto. This gun eats every type of ammo and is very concealable and holds 13 rds. Can’t go wrong.

  33. Bought the sig p365 sas version, hated myself for spending that much on a carry 9mm.


    Haven’t bought a hellcat yet, even though I originally planned to, but stock levels prevented me from having the option. So I spent more for what was in stock, and I haven’t been more satisfied with any other gun purchase. It’s a fluid motion from holster to fire, accurate as hell and has an amazing sight setup. 10/10 would absolutely do it again. Not sure if I’ll ever spend the money on a hellcat, but sig nailed it.

  34. I haven’t tried either as my Walther PPS M2 meets my needs for a small single stack 9. My Stoeger STR 9c is my answer for a small double stack 9. Paid $300 for the Walther brand new and $275 for the Stoeger. Can’t purchase a Hellcat or 365 at that price and they aren’t any better than what I have for the price. If I had to choose I’d probably go with the Sig as I’ve had the 220, 226 and 225 over the years.

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